Saturday, 17 November, 2018

North Korea snubs US at meeting to discuss soldiers’ remains

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Kenny Thornton | 12 July, 2018, 21:59

Ahead of the summit in Singapore, North Korean officials sometimes did not turn up to meetings where their US counterparts were expecting them, causing tension between the two negotiating partners.

The Washington Post cites a "U.S. official with knowledge of the situation" who told the newspaper that the USA negotiating team was ready at the border between the two Koreas on Thursday, but "it just didn't happen".

Pompeo insisted the talks were making progress but as soon as he left, the North's foreign ministry berated him over his "unilateral and gangster-like" demands and for offering no constructive steps on the U.S. side.

North Korean negotiators failed to show up for scheduled talks with the U.S.at Panmunjeom, Thursday, on repatriating the remains of US soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, indicating a possible rift between the two countries in ongoing denuclearization talks.

Interested in North Korea?

While recovering the war dead would provide Trump a political victory similar to Kim's May release of three American detainees, it would do little to advance the goal of dismantling the regime's weapons program.

There are about 7,700 United States soldiers classified as missing in action from the war.

First Visuals Of Thai Boys In Hospital After Being Rescued From Cave
Their physical and mental strength was praised by rescuers to help them survive without food in the cave. They were all brought safely following a mission fraught with obstacles that ended late on Tuesday.

It had been expected at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.

The Department of Defense estimates that North Korea is holding about 200 sets of remains from some 5,300 American military personnel believed missing in the country.

President Trump posted Kim's personal letter on social media Thursday, saying he just received a "very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea".

Byrd, a forensic anthropologist, was part of a 15-strong DPAA team in North Korea 20 years ago.

Meanwhile, the United Nations is trying to raise $US111 million ($150 million) to meet health, water and sanitation and food security needs for about 6 million people in North Korea.

Coming after a year of Twitter taunts and nuclear brinkmanship, the meeting between Kim and Trump was historic, in that it was the first meeting between a U.S. president and his North Korean counterpart. As the war was fought on Korean soil, however, only North Korea has remains to return.

The last return of US remains between 1990 and 1995 involved just over 200 caskets. But he also acknowledged that a lot of work remained to be done, including on the issue of setting a timeline for denuclearization.

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